We Found the Most Realistic Flameless Candles to Add to Your Tablescape

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Set the mood sans fire.

<p>Food & Wine/Maria Ridgway</p>

Food & Wine/Maria Ridgway

You don’t need to light a fire to luxuriate in the cozy ambiance of candles. From outdoor soirées to romantic at-home dinner dates, battery-powered candles elevate your experience just as much as the real deal. They aren’t a replacement for the aroma emitted from authentic candles, as most are unscented, but flameless candles are safer, long-lasting alternatives worthy of a permanent spot on your dining table, fireplace mantel, or floating shelves.

After doing a deep dive into the top flameless candles on the market, we put this list together of pillars, votives, tapers, and even outdoor-friendly options you can control at the press of a button on provided remotes. Read on to find out which flameless candles are worth adding to your tablescape.

Best Overall: Simply Collected 3D Flickering Flameless Candles

Buy at Amazon.com

Pros: The battery life offers up to 800 hours of use, and the candles are available in three different sizes.

Cons: The candles can only be purchased individually, and the remote is sold separately.

It’s safe to say not all flameless candles are created equal. Some look realistic, while others don’t. As our best overall pick, these pillar candles by Simply Collected are made of real wax, radiate a warm light, and feature a sloped shape at the top that mimics how a real candle would look after a few hours of burning.

This battery-powered candle is best for those just wanting a few for their home, as you have to purchase them individually as opposed to a set. If you buy multiple, we recommend purchasing the corresponding remote to control them all at once. Simply turn them on, or set the timer for four hours. The 3D LED flame can be seen at any angle and will continue flickering for up to 800 hours. Go with classic white or ivory, and choose from the three available sizes.

Price at time of publish: $25  

  • Candle Type: Pillar

  • Features: Timer and remote (sold separately)

Best Value: Antizer Flameless Candles 6" Set of 2 Ivory Dripless Real Wax Pillars

Buy at Amazon.com

Pros: This pack is perfect for those who need a lot of candles for a reasonable price.

Cons: The lights give off a little more of an orange hue than some might prefer.

If you're hosting an outdoor soirée, this value pack of ivory LED pillar candles will keep the party going all night long. For around $30, you get 12 flameless candles to add to various surfaces, including buffet-style feast tables and patio tables. You can use the included remote control to turn the candles on and off without moving them from their spot and set the timer for two, four, six, or eight hours.

Unlike some of our other choices, these flames do not stick out from the top of the candles and are set deeper inside the candle base. The color of the flame can be almost too warm for some customers, so if an orange-ish tint doesn’t suit your needs, this isn’t the right option for you. You can choose from 2- x 5-inch pillar candles or 3- x 4-inch ones for your table settings.

Price at time of publish: $22 - $30

  • Candle Type: Pillar

  • Features: Timer and remote

Best Splurge: Pottery Barn Premium Flickering Flameless Wax Pillar Candles

Buy at Potterybarn.com

Pros: Pottery Barn offers candles in two color options and multiple sizes.

Cons: Depending on how many candles you are interested in, these can be pricey.

For occasional use, you probably don’t need these flameless candles. However, if you’re looking for flameless candles worthy of a permanent spot on your dining table, fireplace mantel, or anywhere else in your home, these candles won’t disappoint. The exterior is made from 100% paraffin wax for a realistic look, and the faux flame just shy of an inch tall mimics the flicker of an authentic candle for a cozy atmosphere.

The candles with a 3-inch diameter have a battery life of up to 600 hours, and the 4- and 6-inch options stay lit for up to 1,000 hours, with the timer function setting these on for five hours and off for 19. Unfortunately, the remote control isn’t included, so if you want to turn your candles on or off within 25 feet, you’ll have to spend an additional $11. There are ivory and white flameless candles available in six different sizes or as a mixed set.

Price at time of publish: $50 - $250

  • Candle Type: Pillar

  • Features: Timer and remote (sold separately)

Related:The 9 Best Outdoor Tablecloths for Every Style and Budget

Best Taper: GenSwin Flameless Ivory Taper Candles

Buy at Amazon.com

Pros: There are more options on this remote than other flameless candles.

Cons: Due to their narrow design, handle them with care.

Taper candles are an elegant way to dress up your tablescape, and we favor battery-powered models over traditional ones because the narrow design equals a lower burn time. In other words, you won’t have to worry about wax drippage spoiling your next dinner party or having to buy replacements time after time.

At about 10 inches, these taper candles are slightly shorter than classic ones by about two inches. They are made from natural wax, can stand up on their own or fit into a taper holder of your choosing, and come in a few different colors. The included remote control offers 10 functions, including a two-, four-, six-, or eight-hour timer, plus you can adjust the brightness and activate flicker mode from afar.

Price at time of publish: $33

  • Candle Type: Taper

  • Features: Timer and remote

Best Votive: Homemory 48-Pack Battery Tea Lights

Buy at Amazon.com

Buy at Walmart.com

Pros: They are sold in bulk and come equipped with batteries.

Cons: These candles don’t come with a timer feature or a remote.

For low-profile candles, you can’t go wrong with votive ones. The 1.4-inch tall flameless candles beautify your table without taking over the tablescape, meaning they’ll complement floral bouquets and holiday decorations regardless of the celebration. The best part is that they come with batteries, uncommon for flameless candles, so you can start using them right out of the box. They will last up to 200 hours before you need to add new 48 CR2 batteries.

There’s no timer feature or remote included, just a simple switch on the bottom to turn your candles on and off. Take your pick of a 48- or 72-pack of candles in three color options: bright amber, pure white, or warm white.

Price at time of publish: $27

  • Candle Type: Votive

  • Features: No timer or remote

Best Outdoor: Homemory Outdoor Waterproof Flameless Candles

Buy at Amazon.com

Pros: They are waterproof and feature multiple timer options and settings via remote.

Cons: These do not have as long of battery life as other options.

Need something to brighten up your outdoor space? These pillar candles are waterproof and weatherproof, meaning they can withstand unexpected rain showers, and they come in three different sizes that last up to 500 hours.

Order a pack of two in the size of your choice (6, 8, or 10 inches tall), or mix it up with a three-pack containing one of each. The included remote control allows you to set a two-, four-, six-, or eight-hour timer, adjust the brightness level, or switch between flicker mode and a steady glow. Style your candles inside a lantern, or leave them out as is.

Price at time of publish: $28 - $60

  • Candle Type: Pillar

  • Features: Timer and remote

Related:The 9 Best Outdoor Tablecloths for Every Style and Budget

Our Favorite

The Simply Collected Flickering Flameless Candle offers up to 800 hours of a realistic glow and is available in three different size options. The Pottery Barn Premium Flickering Flameless Wax Pillar Candle, our pick if you’re willing to splurge, comes in an array of sizes, and the candles can be purchased individually or in a variety pack.

Factors to Consider

Candle Design

Most flameless candles are pillar-style, but battery-operated tea lights, votives, and taper options are also available. No matter the size or shape, flameless candles create a cozy ambiance, which can feel even more like real candles thanks to details like flicker mode and brightness settings.

Battery Life

The battery life of the candles on our list ranges from 200 to 1,000 hours. Depending on how long you leave your candles on and how frequently you plan to use them, it can vary from a few weeks to several months before you need to replace the batteries. To prolong the life of your batteries, use the timer feature (if applicable) so you don’t accidentally leave your candles on longer than intended.


Many flameless candles go beyond just turning on and off. Remote controls are frequently included with flameless candles (or sold separately, like with our Simply Collected and Pottery Barn picks) to adjust various settings at the press of a button. Keep an eye out for features, including brightness settings and flickering or steady mode, which can be changed to your liking. Most candles include at least one timer duration, while others have the ability to select one of several timers.


How do you make flameless candles look more realistic?

For flameless candles, it’s all about the flame style that makes them look more or less realistic. A flame set on top of the candle can look less authentic as opposed to the flame being slightly set inside. A flickering flame also looks more realistic than one without movement, so consider using the flicker setting if available. Style your candles as you would real candles: on a mantle, in the fireplace, or around your dinner table.

What is the best way to clean a flameless candle?

Since many flameless candles are white or ivory and made with real wax, they can be prone to showing dust. A soft cloth or microfiber towel is the best way to clean a flameless candle. Water isn’t ideal to use since they are battery-operated devices.

Is it safe to leave battery-operated candles on all night?

Flameless candles are safe to use and do not pose the fire hazard their traditional counterparts do. They will not melt with prolonged use, even if made with real wax. However, we would not recommend making a habit of leaving your flameless candles on overnight, as it can drain the battery life. Instead, use the timer function (if available), so you’ll never forget to turn them off after a long night.

Our Expertise

Jacqueline Weiss is a professional food writer with over five years of experience and a lifelong passion for working in the kitchen. Her writing has appeared in Eat This Not That, EatingWell, AllRecipes, Simply Recipes, and more. For this article, she used her own expertise and market research to curate this list of the best flameless candles on the market.

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